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22

Apr

neurosciencestuff:

Researchers find link between sleep and immune function in fruit flies
When we get sick it feels natural to try to hasten our recovery by getting some extra shuteye. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that this response has a definite purpose, in fruitflies: enhancing immune system response and recovery to infection. Their findings appear online in two related papers in the journal Sleep, in advance of print editions in May and June.
"It’s an intuitive response to want to sleep when you get sick," notes Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology research associate Julie A. Williams, PhD. "Many studies have used sleep deprivation as a means to understand how sleep contributes to recovery, if it does at all, but there is surprisingly little experimental evidence that supports the notion that more sleep helps us to recover. We used a fruitfly model to answer these questions." Along with post-doctoral fellow, Tzu-Hsing Kuo, PhD, Williams conducted two related studies to directly examine the effects of sleep on recovery from and survival after an infection.
In the first paper, they took a conventional approach by subjecting fruit flies to sleep deprivation before infecting them with either Serratia marcescens or Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. Both the sleep-deprived flies and a non-sleep-deprived control group displayed increased sleep after infection, what the experimenters call an “acute sleep response.”
Unexpectedly, the pre-infection, sleep-deprived flies had a better survival rate. “To our surprise they actually survived longer after the infection than the ones who were not sleep-deprived,” notes Williams. The Penn team found that prior sleep deprivation made the flies sleep for a longer period after infection as compared to the undisturbed controls. They slept longer and they lived longer during the infection. Inducing sleep deprivation after infection rather than before made little difference, as long as the infected flies then got adequate recovery sleep. “We deprived flies of sleep after infection with the idea that if we blocked this sleep, things would get worse in terms of survival,” Williams explains. “Instead they got better, but not until after they had experienced more sleep.”
Sleep deprivation increases activity of an NFkB transcription factor, Relish, which is also needed for fighting infection. Flies without the Relish gene do not experience an acute sleep response and very quickly succumb to infection. But, when these mutants are sleep-deprived before infection, they displayed increased sleep and survival rates after infection. The team then evaluated mutant flies that lacked two varieties of NFkB (Relish and Dif). When flies lacked both types of NFkB genes, sleep deprivation had no effect on the acute sleep response, and the effect on survival was abolished. Flies from both sleep-deprived and undisturbed groups succumbed to infection at equal rates within hours.
"Taken together, all of these data support the idea that post-infection sleep helps to improve survival," Williams says.
In the second study, the researchers manipulated sleep through a genetic approach. They used the drug RU486 to induce expression of ion channels to alter neuronal activity in the mushroom body of the fly brain, and thereby regulate sleep patterns. Compared to a control group, flies that were induced to sleep more, and for longer periods of time for up to two days before infection, showed substantially greater survival rates. The flies with more sleep also showed faster and more efficient rates of clearing the bacteria from their bodies. “Again, increased sleep somehow helps to facilitate the immune response by increasing resistance to infection and survival after infection,” notes Williams.
Because the genetic factors investigated by the Penn team, such as the NFkB pathway, are preserved in mammals, the relative simplicity of the Drosophila model provides an ideal avenue to explore basic functions like sleep. “Investigators have been working on questions about sleep and immunity for more than 40 years, but by narrowing down the questions in the fly we’re now in a good position to identify potentially novel genes and mechanisms that may be involved in this process that are difficult to see in higher animals,” explains Williams.
"These studies provide new evidence of the direct and functional effects of sleep on immune response and of the underlying mechanisms at work. The take-home message from these papers is that when you get sick, you should sleep as much as you can — we now have the data that supports this idea," she concludes.

neurosciencestuff:

Researchers find link between sleep and immune function in fruit flies

When we get sick it feels natural to try to hasten our recovery by getting some extra shuteye. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that this response has a definite purpose, in fruitflies: enhancing immune system response and recovery to infection. Their findings appear online in two related papers in the journal Sleep, in advance of print editions in May and June.

"It’s an intuitive response to want to sleep when you get sick," notes Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology research associate Julie A. Williams, PhD. "Many studies have used sleep deprivation as a means to understand how sleep contributes to recovery, if it does at all, but there is surprisingly little experimental evidence that supports the notion that more sleep helps us to recover. We used a fruitfly model to answer these questions." Along with post-doctoral fellow, Tzu-Hsing Kuo, PhD, Williams conducted two related studies to directly examine the effects of sleep on recovery from and survival after an infection.

In the first paper, they took a conventional approach by subjecting fruit flies to sleep deprivation before infecting them with either Serratia marcescens or Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. Both the sleep-deprived flies and a non-sleep-deprived control group displayed increased sleep after infection, what the experimenters call an “acute sleep response.”

Unexpectedly, the pre-infection, sleep-deprived flies had a better survival rate. “To our surprise they actually survived longer after the infection than the ones who were not sleep-deprived,” notes Williams. The Penn team found that prior sleep deprivation made the flies sleep for a longer period after infection as compared to the undisturbed controls. They slept longer and they lived longer during the infection. Inducing sleep deprivation after infection rather than before made little difference, as long as the infected flies then got adequate recovery sleep. “We deprived flies of sleep after infection with the idea that if we blocked this sleep, things would get worse in terms of survival,” Williams explains. “Instead they got better, but not until after they had experienced more sleep.”

Sleep deprivation increases activity of an NFkB transcription factor, Relish, which is also needed for fighting infection. Flies without the Relish gene do not experience an acute sleep response and very quickly succumb to infection. But, when these mutants are sleep-deprived before infection, they displayed increased sleep and survival rates after infection. The team then evaluated mutant flies that lacked two varieties of NFkB (Relish and Dif). When flies lacked both types of NFkB genes, sleep deprivation had no effect on the acute sleep response, and the effect on survival was abolished. Flies from both sleep-deprived and undisturbed groups succumbed to infection at equal rates within hours.

"Taken together, all of these data support the idea that post-infection sleep helps to improve survival," Williams says.

In the second study, the researchers manipulated sleep through a genetic approach. They used the drug RU486 to induce expression of ion channels to alter neuronal activity in the mushroom body of the fly brain, and thereby regulate sleep patterns. Compared to a control group, flies that were induced to sleep more, and for longer periods of time for up to two days before infection, showed substantially greater survival rates. The flies with more sleep also showed faster and more efficient rates of clearing the bacteria from their bodies. “Again, increased sleep somehow helps to facilitate the immune response by increasing resistance to infection and survival after infection,” notes Williams.

Because the genetic factors investigated by the Penn team, such as the NFkB pathway, are preserved in mammals, the relative simplicity of the Drosophila model provides an ideal avenue to explore basic functions like sleep. “Investigators have been working on questions about sleep and immunity for more than 40 years, but by narrowing down the questions in the fly we’re now in a good position to identify potentially novel genes and mechanisms that may be involved in this process that are difficult to see in higher animals,” explains Williams.

"These studies provide new evidence of the direct and functional effects of sleep on immune response and of the underlying mechanisms at work. The take-home message from these papers is that when you get sick, you should sleep as much as you can — we now have the data that supports this idea," she concludes.

30

Mar

neurosciencestuff:

Physics-minded crows bring Aesop’s fable to life
Eureka! Like Archimedes in his bath, crows know how to displace water, showing that Aesop’s fable The Crow and the Pitcher isn’t purely fictional.
To see if New Caledonian crows could handle some of the basic principles of volume displacement, Sarah Jelbert at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and her colleagues placed scraps of meat just out of a crow’s reach, floating in a series of tubes that were part-filled with water. Objects potentially useful for bringing up the water level, like stones or heavy rubber erasers, were left nearby.
The crows successfully figured out that heavy and solid objects would help them get a treat faster. They also preferred to drop objects in tubes where they could access a reward more easily, picking out tubes with higher water levels and choosing tubes of water over sand-filled ones.
Read more

neurosciencestuff:

Physics-minded crows bring Aesop’s fable to life

Eureka! Like Archimedes in his bath, crows know how to displace water, showing that Aesop’s fable The Crow and the Pitcher isn’t purely fictional.

To see if New Caledonian crows could handle some of the basic principles of volume displacement, Sarah Jelbert at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and her colleagues placed scraps of meat just out of a crow’s reach, floating in a series of tubes that were part-filled with water. Objects potentially useful for bringing up the water level, like stones or heavy rubber erasers, were left nearby.

The crows successfully figured out that heavy and solid objects would help them get a treat faster. They also preferred to drop objects in tubes where they could access a reward more easily, picking out tubes with higher water levels and choosing tubes of water over sand-filled ones.

Read more

09

Mar

sandracl13:

indigoneversleeps:

crazyfilipino:

Godspeed Florida

reblogging for the excellent gif usage.

(Source: m45c)

Benedict Cumberbatch during Lupita’s acceptance speech

(Source: idlers-beatle-dream)

jtotheizzoe:

sci-universe:

The countdown of Cosmos

Tomorrow, it happens.

07

Mar

jtotheizzoe:

artandsciencejournal:

A Form of Happiness: Dopamine

We have all felt the rush and experienced the feeling of happiness, and Speculative Design artist Jessica Charlesworth, along with her husband, Product Designer Tim Parsons, has made it tangible. The couples’ A Form of Happiness project has masterfully resulted in their creation of a wood and magnetic representation of the neurotransmitter responsible for releasing the chemical that fuels our desire for happiness. The effects of the organic chemical, dopamine, are likened to the euphoric feeling and pleasurable physical reaction to things such as searching through sale racks while shopping, enjoying a delicious meal, or the pleasure received from engaging in sexual activity.

A Form of Happiness, displayed as the physical model of dopamine, is part of a kit that allows user to assemble the wooden pieces into the chemical compound strand. Each part is held together by embedded neodymium magnets. The kit includes examples of the various roles that the physical piece could take on and provides a more vivid display of what occurs during moments when dopamine is released. Charlesworth and Parsons pose the question, ‘What makes you happy?’ and while the answers will vary by person, as their model and kit prove, the feeling is the same for everyone. Happiness is a simple chemical reaction we seek it throughout life; a chemical bit of magic. 

Visit Jessica Charlesworth’s Portfolio

- Lee Jones

Art like this makes me happy.

20

Feb

(Source: luzzbightyear)

hakuna-yourtatas:

Winter Olympics 2014

hakuna-yourtatas:

Winter Olympics 2014

(Source: animalgifdaily)

17

Feb

thingsthatwegoogleatwork:


Earl Grey tea is a tea blend with a distinctive flavour and aroma derived from the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit.
Traditionally, the term “Earl Grey” has applied only to black teas that contain oil of bergamot as a flavouring.


Toxicology


In several studies, application of high concentrations of some brands of bergamot oil directly to the skin was shown to increase redness after exposure to ultraviolet light;[23][24] however, this should not apply to ordinary oral consumption of Earl Grey tea. Bergamot is a source of bergamottin which, along with the chemically related compound 6’,7’-dihydroxybergamottin, is known to be responsible for the grapefruit juice effect in which the consumption of the juice affects the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs.
In one case study, a patient who consumed four litres of Earl Grey tea per day reported muscle cramps, which were attributed to the function of the bergapten in bergamot oil as a potassium channel blocker. The symptoms subsided upon reducing his consumption of Earl Grey tea to one litre per day.

Who drinks 4 litres of tea a day!?!?!

thingsthatwegoogleatwork:

Earl Grey tea is a tea blend with a distinctive flavour and aroma derived from the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit.

Traditionally, the term “Earl Grey” has applied only to black teas that contain oil of bergamot as a flavouring.

Toxicology

In several studies, application of high concentrations of some brands of bergamot oil directly to the skin was shown to increase redness after exposure to ultraviolet light;[23][24] however, this should not apply to ordinary oral consumption of Earl Grey tea. Bergamot is a source of bergamottin which, along with the chemically related compound 6’,7’-dihydroxybergamottin, is known to be responsible for the grapefruit juice effect in which the consumption of the juice affects the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs.

In one case study, a patient who consumed four litres of Earl Grey tea per day reported muscle cramps, which were attributed to the function of the bergapten in bergamot oil as a potassium channel blocker. The symptoms subsided upon reducing his consumption of Earl Grey tea to one litre per day.

Who drinks 4 litres of tea a day!?!?!

jaz-myvetlife:

Apple of Sodom
Name: Solanum sodomaeum
Toxin: Glyco/Steroidal Alkaloids; Solanine
Phys: GIT irritant, crosses BBB- bradycardia, convulsions, coma, Respiratory failure.
Other sources: Green Potato, black berry nightshade,  Kangaroo apple, Sticky tail flower.

jaz-myvetlife:

Apple of Sodom

  • Name: Solanum sodomaeum
  • Toxin: Glyco/Steroidal Alkaloids; Solanine
  • Phys: GIT irritant, crosses BBB- bradycardia, convulsions, coma, Respiratory failure.
  • Other sources: Green Potato, black berry nightshade,  Kangaroo apple, Sticky tail flower.